If you love to bake with pumpkin, then don’t go another minute without these flaky pumpkin scones topped with a decadent maple glaze. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee on a crisp fall morning.
I’ve already made pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin cream cheese muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin frappuccinos….even pumpkin coffee creamer. To be honest though, I was a little nervous to develop a recipe for classic pumpkin scones because the ones at the bakery are just so delicious. After a few tries, though, I created a buttery scone recipe that is perfectly spiced without being overly sweet. And did I mention maple icing?
Tell me About These Pumpkin Scones
- Texture: heavy cream helps produce a freshly-baked scone that is both soft and flaky in the center, crisp on top, and crumbly at the corners.
- Flavor: these buttery scones are the perfect blend of sweet and spice for the pumpkin obsessed. With every bite, you’ll get a delicious shot of pumpkin spice cut with sweet maple frosting. You can use homemade pumpkin pie spice here!
- Ease: if you follow the recipe closely, including my success tips below, this pumpkin recipe is quick and easy to make for breakfast, brunch, or anytime.
- Time: the scone dough comes together quickly in about 20 minutes and then just 25 minutes more in the oven to pumpkin perfection. Serve these scones warm right away for the best taste.
These classic pumpkin scones are inspired by my perfect, no-fail master recipe for scones. Use it to build a scone with your own favorite add-ins like lemon blueberry scones, ham & cheese scones, banana nut scones, and more! Here are all of my scone recipes.
Recipe Testing Pumpkin Scones: What Works & What Doesn’t
- Frozen butter = success. As your scone bakes, frozen butter will melt and release steam, creating tender flaky pockets in the middle with crisp and crumbly edges. Butter that hasn’t been frozen could melt before it makes it to the oven, and you’ll lose all that tender, flaky goodness.
- Grate the butter. Weird, right? Fine shreds of cold butter make for an even mix into the dry ingredients. If you don’t own a grater, you can also use a sharp knife to cut the butter into small chunks, but I prefer the teeny shreds.
- Blot the pumpkin. Trust me on this. Pumpkin puree is extremely wet and can cause spreading in your mixture. Blot the pumpkin for 15 seconds with a paper towel before you use it. For more details on blotting pumpkin, see my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or pumpkin snickerdoodles.
- Don’t over-mix the dough. After you add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix with ease until combined. Just like pie crust, over-mixing the scone dough will result in a tough texture.
Heavy Cream for the Win
There are some recipes where substituting similar ingredients is okay, but this isn’t one of them. Rich heavy cream or buttermilk is the secret to these delicious scones.
- Heavy cream or buttermilk is a must. Texture is crucial for the perfect scone, so don’t substitute milk or nondairy milk in this recipe. You’ll lose both the texture and flavor that make these scones irresistible.
- I swear by this trick. Brush the scones with the remaining heavy cream or buttermilk right before baking and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar if you have any. It will help ensure that sweet, crisp exterior.
Overview: How to Make Classic Pumpkin Scones
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started.
- Whisk dry ingredients together.
- Add frozen butter to the flour mixture. Grate your butter and add to the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Remember, you don’t want the butter to melt before you bake.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together. After they are combined, drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until moistened throughout.
- Flour up. Coat your hands in flour and work the mixture into a ball of dough. The dough should be thoroughly combined, but don’t overwork it which could result in a tough texture.
- Flatten dough ball into an 8-inch disc. Use a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 equal wedges.
- Don’t forget the heavy cream wash. Brush the remaining heavy cream (or buttermilk) onto your scones using a pastry brush right before baking. Sprinkle with coarse sugar for a sweet textured crunch.
- Make the glaze. While the scones are baking, make the maple glaze over low heat by combining the butter and maple syrup until the mixture is completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a dash of salt to achieve the perfect glaze consistency.
- Drizzle over the scones. Add the maple icing while the scones are still warm so it melts into every flake, crack, and crevice. You’ll taste melty maple goodness with every bite.
More Fall Recipes
- Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Maple Pecan Sticky Buns
Classic Pumpkin Scones
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 scones
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Deliciously spiced classic pumpkin scones are flaky and soft with perfectly crumbly edges. Top with coarse sugar for extra crunch and maple icing for extra decadence!
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (105ml) heavy cream, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (115g) canned pumpkin puree, blotted*
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
- pinch salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini scones, I use 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
- Make the scones: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater). Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
- Whisk 1/3 cup (75ml) heavy cream, the egg, blotted pumpkin (see note), brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then mix it all together until everything appears moistened.
- With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer onto a floured work surface. Press into a neat 8-inch disc and, with a very sharp knife, cut into 8 equal wedges. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. (Larger scones are pictured in this blog post.)
- Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using a pastry brush, brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Gives a nice crunch!)
- Bake the larger scones for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you made 16 smaller scones, bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
- Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle over warm scones.
- Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Plain baked scones freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can use store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice here. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves. This is in addition to the 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in the recipe—you will still add that.
- Blotting Pumpkin: Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, lightly blot the pumpkin puree to remove some of the moisture before using in the recipe. The more moisture removed, the less moist and muffin-like the scones will taste. We want the scones to be flaky and crumbly, not super moist or muffin-like. I prefer to squeeze lots of moisture out so the scones taste textured and delicious. Do what you prefer!
Keywords: pumpkin scones
Reader Comments & Reviews
Should I chill these scones before baking like in your master scone recipe?
Hi Frannie, it certainly doesn’t hurt!
Can I chill them overnight and bake in the morning?
Hi Frannie, yes, you sure can!
First attempt and this recipe made me feel like a pro.
I’m not a pumpkin fan…but I love these. So easy and delicious.
I used real pumpkin we had baked and frozen and for the frosting used some cream cheese vs butter and topped with pecans!!! Some of the best scones I’ve had and made!!!
Great recipe and easy to make. I added toasted pecans. I over baked them by a few minutes and the bottoms are very dark but I still enjoyed them. If they look just a little brown at the 20 minute mark I think they should come out.
Made this recipe with sweet potato instead of pumpkin. It was so amazing
I love this recipe so much. Always a fan favorite. I want to make some dough and give it to friends, can I make the dough and freeze it then bake from frozen?
Hi Lillie, Definitely. Check out the notes in our master scones recipe for freezing instructions!
I love all of Sally’s scone recipes, but for some reason these didn’t turn out as nice as the others. Her other scone recipes were moist with a crisp exterior. These were on the dry side. I also feel like the flavor was lacking, however I didn’t use the glaze so perhaps that’s why. This is probably the only recipe of Sally’s that didn’t work out for me as well. Otherwise, I love this website for all dessert recipes.
Great tasting scones! For the grating of the frozen butter I used the food processor with all the added dry ingredients. Buzz a few times til butter is pea size. Perfect!
LOVED this recipe. I followed it to the T. Delicious. This was my first time making scones. I made a double batch and they were gone before I knew it. Thank you.
These scones are cloud tender. They’re my favorite recipe for scones I’ve found. Don’t skip blotting the pumpkin purée, or using a box grater to grate your frozen butter. Excellent recipe, so delicious.
Did not have much pumpkin flavor and my husband said it tasted more like spice cake (which he loves). If I were to make again with this recipe, I would adjust the spices.
These are perfect! My family and I especially loved the glaze. Will definitely make these again!
I loved this recipe! I accidentally left out the baking powder,they were a little flat, but very tasty! I think toasted pecans would be great in the glaze! Can’t wait to try them with the baking powder!
This is a delicious scone! Is the 1/2 c pumpkin purée before or after blotting? I think I measured out 1/2 cup which blotted down to about 1/4 c is that correct?
I also added 1 Tbsp ginger
Instead of the glaze I used the caramel glaze from Alice’s Tea Cup and topped with candied pecans.
Hi Deborah, usually we don’t lose quite that much volume when blotting, but that should be just about right!
Can I substitute gf all purpose flour for regular all purpose flour in this recipe?
We haven’t tested GF flour but let us know if you do!
Far too cakey and didn’t taste much like a real scone, though the final product still tasted lovely, the recipe did not produce a traditional scone. I would also recommend skipping the glaze, it was too sweet.
I made this twice in one night because the first batch burned on the bottom at 400 degrees, and the flavor was lacking. I gave it another go because what else was I to do with leftover pumpkin purée?
The second batch was much better, both in flavor and texture with these changes:
Cut the cream to 1/4 cup
Add 1 extra tablespoon brown sugar
Add SLIGHTLY more salt (less than 1/8 tsp~And I used salted butter)
Bake at 350
I made 3 medium disks, less than 1/2 inch thick, so I took them out after 20 minutes (they were under done). I sliced them up, separated them slightly and put them back in the oven for 5 minutes to cook through and firm up. They are still a soft scone, but have a slight crunch outside. The added salt and sugar really brings out the pumpkin spice flavor without adding saltiness or sweetness.
We love these scones! The first time I made them, I had a lot of icing leftover. The second time, I halved the icing recipe, and I still had plenty to completely cover the scones. It was perfect!
Loved these! I added a tablespoon of puréed pumpkin to the glaze and it was delicious. Half of them were gone as soon as they hit the serving plate. I also set them in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking because the dough was sticky. I will make these again
Rated 4.5 * My husband loved these scones. They were a bit sweet for me. Thank you for the recipe. I may play with the sugar and spices.
I did a Japanese take on this recipe to rave reviews from my wife, who grew up in Japan and has a bit of an addiction to Japanese style pastries and sweets.
1. Forego the glaze.
2. Use 1 cup of oven roasted kabocha instead of 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree.
3. Eliminate the pumpkin spice.
3. Reduce the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon.
These scones were so good my first attempt so I am going to make them again. The glaze is delicious!
Just not my favorite! Tasted less like pumpkin and more like cinnamon and spices. Love the other scone recipes are I’ve tried though!
These were so good! My first attempt at scones and they were easy and delicious. They are a subtle pumpkin and spice flavour, just really nice. I added a small amount of white choc chips and I think it was a nice addition.
Also the maple glaze was very tasty too!